He crossed both arms over his chest--he was beginning to feel a little cold. "Okay. So, have you ever closed your eyes real tight and then pressed both palms against your eyes, and kept them there until you start to see really wild, vivid colors and bright flashes of light against your eyelids?"
"I know what you are talking about, yes. Go on, please."
"Okay. So, after I 'blank out,' for want of a better term, I find myself in this kind of room. It's a big, empty room, and dark, but all around the outside--the walls and even the ceiling--is this really bright, pulsing light, and it shifts colors all the time. This light is everywhere, except in the center of the room, where I am. There, in the center, it's just pitch dark." Rick stopped for a moment, and then asked, "Does that make any sense?"
"If that is what you see, then it must make sense to you," Dr. Andrews offered.
"Well, it doesn't," Rick snapped. "I don't get it at all. It just happens."
"Hmm. Very well, we can come back to that point. But, after you are in this room, that is when you actually hear the voices, yes?"
"Yeah. They come to me, then. I call it the Room of Voices," Rick said, and smiled.
Dr. Andrews returned his smile, but only slightly. "Tell me, do you hear these voices in your head, or do they come from outside, as you hear our voices, now?"
He frowned, again, becoming somewhat irritated. "Well, yeah, they're outside. If I only heard them in my head, I'd be crazy, wouldn't I?"
"Now, Rick, you know we try not to make that distinction. I just want to get to the root of your problem."
His frown deepening, he asked, "What problem?"
Dr. Andrews tapped his pen on the desk a few times, before saying, "You don't think hearing phantom voices might possibly constitute a problem for you?"
Damn doctors, Rick thought, always answering a question with another freaking question. "It hasn't yet," he finally said.
"Really?" the doctor asked, his eyebrows arching up a notch.
Crap, I hate this, he thought, then sighed, again. "Not that I'm aware of. They help me, actually."
"Indeed. How is that?"
"Well, they give me ideas about things to write, and they remind me of things I might forget to do, sometimes."
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